Dangerous Tenn. escapee confirmed to have been seen in Henning, Tenn. area

TBI and DOC hold press conference on escaped inmate

HENNING, Tenn. (WMC) - An inmate who escaped Wednesday, Aug. 7, from West Tennessee State Penitentiary who is a person-of-interest in the homicide investigation was last seen in the Henning, Tenn. area.

Curtis Ray Watson seen in Henning, Tenn. (Source - Tennessee Department of Corrections)
Curtis Ray Watson seen in Henning, Tenn. (Source - Tennessee Department of Corrections)

Inmate Curtis Ray Watson was seen on surveillance camera with a new change of clothes. Residents of the area are asked to be alert and vigilant.

Records show he has previous convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated child abuse.

According to First Commissioner David Parker, Watson who is serving a 15-year sentence, was on a job working as a farm laborer before he escaped on a tractor.

WATCH LIVE: TBI discusses the ongoing search for prison escapee Curtis Watson.

Posted by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The TBI has identified the victim as 64-year-old Debra Johnson who was found in her home located on the property of the Tennessee State Penitentiary around 11:30 a.m. Johnson worked as a West Tennessee Correctional Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Debra Johnson (Source: Tennessee Department of Correction/Facebook)
Debra Johnson (Source: Tennessee Department of Correction/Facebook)

She was a 38-year veteran employee of the state of Tennessee and worked in multiple positions including deputy warden and warden.

Escaped inmate is person of interest in homicide of TDOC employee

Davidson says Lauderdale County deputies were investigating a suspected homicide at a home on Highway 87 across from the prison when they discovered the inmate was missing.

TBI and DOC officals are asking the public to be vigilant and report any strange activity. Watson has been added to law enforcement’s most wanted list.

Call 911 or 1-800-TBI-FIND if you see him.

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